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 Take notes! Greek Drama. I. Origins of Tragedy A.Religious festivals in honor of Dionysus 1.City of Dionysia— religious festival held in spring.

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Presentation on theme: " Take notes! Greek Drama. I. Origins of Tragedy A.Religious festivals in honor of Dionysus 1.City of Dionysia— religious festival held in spring."— Presentation transcript:

1  Take notes! Greek Drama

2 I. Origins of Tragedy A.Religious festivals in honor of Dionysus 1.City of Dionysia— religious festival held in spring. 2.Dithyramb—hymn sung in honor of the god. 3.Chorus—group of about 50 who sang and danced.

3 I. Origins of Tragedy B. Thespis— “Father of Drama” (6 th Century B.C.) 1.Won prize for tragedy in 535 B.C. 2.Said to have introduced first actor and, thus, dialogue. C. Aeschylus ( B.C.) 1.Added a second actor to the stage 2.Wrote trilogies on unified themes An example of a trilogy on a unified theme—not written by Aeschylus

4 I. Origins of Tragedy D. Sophocles—( B.C.) 1. Added a third actor 2. Fixed the number of Chorus at 15 members 3. Introduced painted scenery 4. Made each play of the trilogy separate in nature

5 I. Origins of Tragedy E. Euripides—( B.C.) 1. Reduced participation of Chorus in the main action of the play 2. Relied on heavy prologues and deus ex machina endings “deus ex machina” translates as “god by machine” in which a god character is literally lowered down by a crane in the play to resolve the problems of the plot. (aka cheesy, improbable ending)

6 II. Structure of Theater A.Theatron—seeing place where the audience sits B.Orchestra—circular dancing place where actors and Chorus performed C.Thymele—altar to Dionysus in the center of the orchestra D.Skene—building used as a dressing room E.Proskenion—façade of skene which served as a backdrop F.Parados—entrance to the theater used by the Chorus

7 II. Structure of Theater A- Theatron B- Orchestra C-Thymele D- Skene E-Proskenion F- Parados (F1-Parados strophe) (F2-Parados antistrophe )

8 II. Structure of Theater

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11 III. Actors and Acting A.Hypocrites—the answerer—playing roles 1.Actor and dramatist originally were one in the same; the playwright took the lead 2.All male performers—played the female roles too 3.Never were more than three actors who changed characters and roles throughout a.Protagonist b.Deuteragonist c.Tritagonist

12 III. Actors and Acting B. Costumes and Masks 1. Actors wore long, flowing robes of symbolic colors 2. High Boots, often with raised soles 3. Larger than life masks—made of linen, wood, and cork. a. identified age, gender, and emotion b. exaggerated features—large eyes and open mouths.

13 IV. The Chorus A.Music and Dance 1.Musical Accompaniment for choral odes—flutes, lyres, and percussion used 2.Dance defined as expressive rhythmical movements you might call it “interpretive dance”

14 IV. The Chorus B. Function 1. Sets the overall mood for the play and expresses the play’s theme 2. Adds beauty (theatrical effectiveness) through song and dance 3. Gives background information for the play and characters 4. Divides action of the play and provides reflection on the events 5. Questions, advises, expresses opinion— usually through the Chorus leader.

15 V. Conventions of the Play A.Unities 1.Action—simple plot line 2.Time—a single day 3.Place—one scene throughout B.Messenger 1.Tells the news happening away from the scene 2.Reports acts of violence not allowed to be shown C.Limitations of Theater 1.Continuous presence of the Chorus 2.No intermissions; continuous flow of action and choral odes 3.No lighting and no curtains.

16 VI. Structure of Greek Tragedy A. Prologue: Spoken by one or two characters before the chorus appears. The prologue usually gives the background information needed to understand the events of the play. B. Parodos: the song sung by the chorus as it makes its entrance C. Episodes/Scenes: the main action of the play

17 VI. Structure of Greek Tragedy D. Odes: songs (and often dance) that reflect on the events of the episodes, and weave the plot into a cohesive whole 1. strophe: the movement of the chorus from right to left across the stage 2. antistrophe: the reaction to the strophe, which moves across the stage from right to left. E. Paean: a prayer of thanksgiving to Dionysus in whose honor the Greek plays were performed F. Exodos: sung by the chorus as it makes its final exit, which usually offers words of wisdom related to the actions and outcome of the play

18 Film! Greek Theater & Tragedy

19 VII. What do you know? A.Have you ever seen a Greek Tragedy? What was it like? How does it compare with other types of plays? B.What is your experience reading Greek plays? Have you performed these type of plays in class? What was that like? C.If we were to perform certain scenes from Antigone in class, how would we have to set up the classroom for full dramatic effect? Do you see any limitations? How can these limitations be overcome?


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